How Deep is your Righteousness?
In a recent ManUp devotional, I wrote about having a thirst and a hunger for righteousness. Being a righteous man means to be a man of high integrity and strong character. It means living an upright lifestyle and having the right behavior before God. So, self assessment time; how is this pursuit of righteousness going for you? Is your righteousness resting on the surface for all to see or does it go deeper than that? Does it reside in the depths of your heart and soul? You see men, it is important that we assess ourselves in regards to our righteousness because Jesus calls us to a new righteousness, one that “surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law” (Matthew 5:20).
The law was a standard of righteousness that the Pharisees and Scribes pursued. When they gave a contribution, they wanted trumpets to sound. When they prayed, they wanted people to see them. When they fasted, they made sure it was obvious to others. You see, theirs was a righteousness to bolster their own self-esteem by getting the praise of man. It was a righteousness that was seen by others and did not touch the heart of the person. Jesus was not satisfied with that kind of righteousness displayed by the Scribes and Pharisees and he is not satisfied with that kind of righteousness within us.
Men, we are called to a higher righteousness, one that surpasses those who are supposedly the most pious. Our righteousness is one that affects the whole of our lives, not just in public, but also in private. It is a righteousness that forgives and does not hold a grudge. It is a righteousness that does great things for the lost, abandoned, and hurting people that nobody wants anything to do with and keeps quiet about doing it. It is a righteousness that brings glory to God and seeks the honor of Him, not men. It is a kingdom righteousness that works from the inside out transforming men and producing changed hearts and does, in fact, surpass the righteousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the law.
This Week’s Challenge: Is your righteousness on display for the world to see? What steps can you take this week to obtain a righteousness that surpasses that of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees?